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Europe: Shares post weekly loss after mixed US data

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European shares ended the week lower after jobs data from the United States triggered selling pressure as investors try to gauge the timing of the next US rate hike.

[LONDON] European shares ended the week lower after jobs data from the United States triggered selling pressure as investors try to gauge the timing of the next US rate hike.

While there was an initially positive market reaction to the data, which showed the US economy had created fewer jobs than expected last month, a fall in the unemployment rate to a 7-1/2-year low meant the release did not decisively quash expectations of an interest rate hike as early as this month.

"Sentiment is quite nervous...I think more and more investors blame central banks for not acting in the current environment to bring stabilisation," said Ingo Speich, portfolio manager at Union Investment in Frankfurt. "Currently there is no positive bottom-up or fundamental signal that is strong enough to keep markets up."

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed down 2.5 per cent at 1,392.63 points at 1406 GMT, after rising 2.4 per cent the previous day when the European Central Bank delivered a dovish message from its first meeting after weeks of market turmoil.

Energy and mining shares were among the worst performing sectors, falling 4 and 5 per cent respectively.

Germany's benchmark DAX share index fell 2.7 per cent after data showed industrial orders had fallen more than expected in July on lower foreign demand.

Britain's second-largest clothing retailer, Next, and electrical goods and mobile phone retailer Dixons Carphone fell 3 per cent and 4.3 per cent respectively after Exane BNP Paribas cut its target price for both the stocks.

Lufthansa rose 5 per cent after the chief executive told Reuters in an interview he was confident the airline would achieve its profit target this year thanks to strong business in July and August and a turnaround in its short-haul European business.

Neopost, the French mail and shipping group, surged 10.1 per cent after confirming its 2015 outlook on the back of higher sales in the second quarter.

REUTERS